Sexual Health Resources
Free condoms are available at the Student Health Clinic (Westlawn Building), the Wellness Services Suite (Campus Recreation and Wellness Center), and the Women’s Resource Action Center. You can make an appointment to explore other contraception options (including IUDs, birth control pills, implants, etc.) at the Student Health Clinic (Westlawn Building). Make an appointment by calling 319-335-8394. More information can be found on the Student Health page.
Free condoms are available at the Student Health Clinic (Westlawn Building), the Wellness Services Suite (Campus Recreation and Wellness Center), and the Women’s Resource Action Center. You can make an appointment to explore other contraception options (including IUDs, birth control pills, implants, etc.), for STI testing, or for HIV prevention treatments (PrEP or PEP) at the Student Health Clinic (Westlawn Building). Make an appointment by calling 319-335-8394. More information can be found on the Student Health page.
Students who are not on university-provided insurance may want to consider accessing sexual health resources off-campus. Planned Parenthood’s services include birth control, emergency contraception, STI testing and treatment, and HIV testing and referral. The Emma Goldman Clinic’s services include birth control, emergency contraception, STI testing, and HIV testing.
UIHC provides information on different types of emergency contraception. Levonorgestrel pills such as Plan B can be purchased over-the-counter at a pharmacy. Other forms of emergency contraception are available with a prescription or through a medical provider. The Jane Collective provides free emergency contraception if needed.
In 2019, the Iowa House failed to pass legislation that passed the Iowa Senate which would make self-administered hormonal contraception available over the counter (SF513). A similar bill (S4638) was introduced in the U.S. Senate in July 2022, but it has not passed.
COGS members are working to get the university to provide free Plan B and home pregnancy tests at multiple campus locations for all students, faculty, and staff. If you support this demand, please sign our petition.
Resources for Student Parents
RVAP provides trauma-informed doula services. RVAP is driven to prevent medical violence and increase support for those who have survived medical violence. With care and commitment, RVAP has provided doula services to survivors of sexual violence, medical violence, and obstetric violence since 2019. While traditional doula services only include birth and postpartum support, RVAP takes a full-spectrum approach and has one trained doula serving on the team. Full-spectrum doula service includes abortion support and accompaniment, accompaniment to reproductive healthcare appointments, transition related care support, surgery accompaniment for reproductive health matters, queer health advocacy, antenatal support such as birth planning and childbirth education, and postpartum support. Postpartum support varies the most, and generally centers on getting clients the resources they need to care for their infants, as well as processing birth related trauma and obstetric violence. Ongoing counseling for survivors of medical and obstetric violence also falls under the umbrella of doula support and is one of the primary forms of support the agency provides in respect to doula services.
COGS is working to get the university to eliminate the criteria that disqualifies students for the childcare subsidy program based on household income and SSN. We are also pushing the university to provide guaranteed paid parental leave. If you support these demands, please sign our petition.
How to Access Gender-Affirming Care
University-provided health insurance covers hormone therapy, mental health services, and gender-affirming surgeries. For insurance-related questions, call Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa at 1-800-643-9724. Students who are not on university-provided insurance may want to consider exploring options for hormone therapy through Planned Parenthood.
This FAQ page from UIHC describes the types of gender-affirming procedures available at UIHC and the process to receive a prescription for hormones. UIHC also provides information on LGBTQ Clinic locations and providers. For help finding the right provider, you can call 1-800-777-8442.
Trans@Iowa compiled resources about physical and mental health, violence prevention and response, and RVAP’s Queer Health Advocates program. Call RVAP’s 24-hour support line (319-335-6000) to speak with a confidential advocate, and to request ongoing support. Advocates can help you find a provider, accompany you to an appointment, and ensure you receive needed accommodations.
How to Access Abortion
Planned Parenthood offers medication abortions up to 11 weeks and surgical abortions up to 19 weeks. The Emma Goldman Clinic offers medication abortions up to 11 weeks and surgical abortions up to 19 weeks, 6 days.
Plancpills.org provides information about how to access abortion pills by mail. Carafem offers medication abortions up to 11 weeks following an ultrasound appointment from an approved provider and a telehealth appointment. Shipments from Carafem take 1-3 days. AidAccess also provides medication abortions following an online consultation and can provide abortion pills for future use. Shipments from AidAccess can take 2-3 weeks and there may be additional legal considerations when ordering from them because their providers and pharmacy are based outside the U.S.
The Jane Collective provides free pregnancy tests, free emergency contraception, and abortion resources.
COGS is working to get the university to provide free Plan B and home pregnancy tests at multiple campus locations for all students, faculty, and staff. If you support this demand, please sign our petition.
Legal Threats to Abortion in Iowa
The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson rolled back federal protection of the right to abortion. In June 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court also reversed a prior decision, arguing the Iowa Constitution does not protect the right to abortion. A measure on the 2024 ballot could make the denial of this right explicit in the Iowa Constitution and open a pathway for the passage of the “fetal heartbeat” bill which would ban abortions after 6 weeks.
In 2017, Iowa left the federal Medicaid family planning program and imposed restrictions on accessing care from providers with any connection to abortion using public insurance. The Guttmacher Institute provides information on studies of the impact of this change and Covid-19 on reproductive health in Iowa. The Guttmacher Institute also provides a state legislation tracker.
Notably, the Iowa House was the only state legislature to introduce a bill that would require counselors to provide disinformation on fetal pain and personhood (HF403, introduced in 2021). In 2022, the Iowa Senate introduced legislation that would ban abortion after 12 weeks except in medical emergencies (SF2029) and passed legislation that would increase funding for crisis pregnancy centers that actively discourage abortion (SF2381, did not pass House). Also in 2022, the Iowa House introduced legislation that would require abortions and complications be publicly reported (HF2210), ban telehealth appointments for medication abortions (HF2219), make all abortions illegal (HF2289), or restrict which providers can offer abortions and require providers to tell patients that medical abortions can be reversed if they act quickly enough (HF2389).
If/When/How has a legal defense fund and other resources for navigating legal threats to abortion.
COGS is working to get the university to pledge to provide travel support for abortion if and when abortion becomes illegal in Iowa and explicitly prohibit requests from instructors and supervisors for a doctor’s note, funeral notice, or other proof of justification in order for an absence from work or class to be excused. If you support these demands, please sign our petition.
Resources for Survivors of Domestic Violence
The Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) provides comprehensive services to victim-survivors of intimate partner violence in Johnson, Iowa, Cedar, Washington, Henry, Lee, Des Moines, and Van Buren counties. Their services include but are not limited to: 24/7/365 emergency shelter, a 24/7/365 emergency hotline, safety planning, mobile advocacy, trauma-informed 1:1 counseling, youth services, and emergency pet sheltering. To get help, you can call their emergency hotline: 1-800-373-1043.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and there are several ways to get involved through DVIP. Stop by DVIP’s media displays at your local library, wear purple on October 20th, attend a punk show to benefit DVIP on October 22nd, or participate in the Shop for Shelter or Shop for Safety events.
DVIP created the graphics below explaining the impact of the Dobbs decision on survivors of domestic violence.
Legal Threats to Trans Rights in Iowa
One Iowa Action provides information on recent anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced or passed in Iowa. In March 2022, HF2416, which requires students’ assigned sex at birth be used to determine eligibility for athletics programs, was enacted. The legislature also introduced bills that would allow for legal religious exemptions (SF2284), expand public indecency restrictions (SF2100), and restrict information about LGBTQ people that could be taught in schools (SF2054). One Iowa Action is also pushing for legislative change that would ban conversion therapy and the LGBTQ panic defense, protect antidiscrimination measures, and eliminate barriers to healthcare access.
COGS members are working to get the university to use appropriate gender-neutral language in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy, require gender-inclusive restrooms in all campus buildings, and explicitly prohibit requests from instructors and supervisors for a doctor’s note, funeral notice, or other proof of justification in order for an absence from work or class to be excused. If you support these demands, please sign our petition.